Projecting the starters on offense

It's less than a month before the start of camp and CUTigers takes a look at each position and projects the starters on offense.

Plenty of questions surround the unit, which is looking to replace its top receiver, rusher and maybe the passer, too.

Here's a look at the projected starters for the Sept. 4 opener against North Texas, a quick hit on each position and the official Clemson depth chart listing following the end of spring practice:


If Kyle Parker walks away from college football, it will be Michael Wade vs. Tajh Boyd next month in preseason camp.
QB - TBA

QUICK HIT: Obviously, the Kyle Parker saga dictates who gets the nod here. If Parker's back, he's under center for a second-straight season and ready to build on what was a record-setting season for a first-year starter at Clemson. If not, the next question is: Will Tajh Boyd be ready? If not, red-shirt senior Michael Wade could find himself at quarterback to start the season against North Texas. If Parker and his 20 touchdowns leave for a professional baseball career, expect the 369 passes thrown by Kyle Parker a year ago to fall off significantly.

DEPTH CHART
1. Kyle Parker
2. Tajh Boyd
3. Michael Wade




Will 2010 be Jamie Harper's breakout year?
RB - Andre Ellington, Jamie Harper

QUICK HIT: Flip a coin, call it in the air and that could be your starter. Neither Lil' Bit nor Big Bit have been named a starter and neither will. The running back duo is expected to have a pretty even split between in number of touches by the time the season is over. Ellington and Harper each scored four touchdowns on the ground last season and rushed for 491 and 418 yards, respectively. Collectively, they'll top C.J. Spiller's 1,212 yards rushing (86.6 yards/game).

DEPTH CHART
1. Andre Ellington
2. Jamie Harper
2. Roderick McDowell




Is there a more punishing blocker in the ACC than Diehl?
FB - Chad Diehl

QUICK HIT: Is there a more punishing blocker in the ACC than Diehl? There's no question that he's the best blocker at Clemson. Ellington and Harper have the luxury of running behind a lead blocker who's been compared to NFL veteran Madison Hedgecock by Clemson running backs coach Andre Powell.

DEPTH CHART
1. Chad Diehl
2. Kasey Nobles




Clemson's top returning wide receiver from 2009 is Xavier Dye - he snagged 14 receptions for 236 yards and three touchdowns as a junior.
WR - Xavier Dye

QUICK HIT: Clemson's top returning wide receiver from 2009, Dye snagged 14 receptions for 236 yards and three touchdowns as a junior. Listed as a co-starter at the position, a solid session of summer workouts and camp should insure that Dye holds on to the spot that he held throughout the second half of the 2009 season.

DEPTH CHART
1. Xavier Dye or Brandon Clear
2. Brandon Ford


WR - Marquan Jones

QUICK HIT: Jones started off 2009 with a few big catches down field before tailing off and essentially disappearing for the rest of his sophomore season. Bryce McNeal could push Jones out of the starting vacated by Jacoby Ford.

DEPTH CHART
1. Marquan Jones
2. Bryce McNeal


Jaron Brown continued to pick up high praise from the coaching staff through spring practice and could be ready to take over the position this fall.
WR - Jaron Brown

QUICK HIT: Jaron Brown continued to pick up high praise from the coaching staff through spring practice and could be ready to take over the position this fall. He'll have to beat out senior Terrance Ashe and DeAndre Hopkins, one of three wide receivers signed in the 2010 class. Out of the three-man wide receiver class, Hopkins is likely to get the most playing time.

DEPTH CHART
1. Terrance Ashe
2. Jaron Brown




Could Dwayne Allen catch 50+ passes this year? Don't be surprised if he does.
TE - Dwayne Allen

QUICK HIT: A no brainer. Allen's been groomed to take over the position following the graduation of Michael Palmer and he should lead the Tigers in receptions. An agile jumbo athlete with good hands, Allen should smash Palmer's record-setting performance from a year ago at the tight end position. The biggest question at the position heading into the fall is who's going to be the next option? Freshman Victor Beasley could have plenty to say about that.

DEPTH CHART
1. Dwayne Allen
2. Drew Traylor
3. Darrell Smith




Red-shirt senior Chris Hairston is the most reliable starter on the line and likely mid-round draft pick in 2011, but Clemson must find a reliable second option behind him.
LT - Chris Hairston

QUICK HIT: Hairston is the most reliable starter on the line and likely mid-round draft pick in 2011, but Clemson must find a reliable second option behind him. Red-shirt freshman Brandon Thomas is the top candidate who's not starting at another position.

DEPTH CHART
1. Chris Hairston
2. Brandon Thomas

LG - David Smith

QUICK HIT: Smith worked his way into favor as the front-runner for the position in spring practice with Mason Cloy sidelined because of an injury. Though the Clemson coaches haven't officially named Smith as the leader on the depth chart, there's no reason to believe he won't be the starter this fall.

DEPTH CHART
1. David Smith or Mason Cloy


Mason Cloy gives the Tigesr options at multiple positions in the interior offensive line this season.
C - Dalton Freeman

QUICK HIT: Took over the starting duties mid-way through his red shirt freshman season, Freeman could take a big step forward in being considered one of the conference's top centers with a quality season in 2010. At the conclusion of camp, Cloy's name could be second here, too as he continues to recover from a broken ankle suffered at the end of last season.

DEPTH CHART
1. Dalton Freeman
2. Matt Sanders
3. Ben Ramsey

RG - Antoine McClain

QUICK HIT: Wilson Norris' torn ACL leaves the race for McClain's backup between a pair of freshmen. Kalon Davis, who has been enrolled at Clemson since January and went through spring practice, has slimmed down from his 360 pounds and could be in position to provide help here.

DEPTH CHART
1. Antoine McClain
2. Kalon Davis

RT - Landon Walker

QUICK HIT: After a lackluster off-season before 2009, Walker had to work his way back into the favor of Clemson coaches a couple of games into last season's schedule. Assuming Walker's summer is better than last, he'll keep Phillip Price as the backup.

DEPTH CHART
1. Landon Walker
2. Phillip Price

Depth charts, both official and unofficial are subject to change once preseason camp begins next month.

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